Cannes 2012: Jean Paul Gaultier on His Favorite Films (Video)

"I think the festival chose me as a judge because I don’t see film like a filmmaker does; I see it through my eyes and my heart more," the jury member told THR.

The Hollywood Reporter sat down with Jean Paul Gaultier at the Palais’ Café des Palmes to check in with fashion’s enfant terrible about his time as a Cannes juror.

The Hollywood Reporter: Your face is on those Diet Coke ads all over Cannes. You have a big presence here.

Jean Paul Gaultier: Yes, they were shot by Stephane Sednaoui. I think now it might be a little “Village People.” I was trying to refer to the clothes I've made for women — the blond ponytail of Madonna, for instance. Far away from the billboards, I look like I had plastic surgery.

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THR: How many films are you seeing a day as a judge?

Gaultier: At least two. This is what I've done all my life. I did think when they asked me to be a juror, “Am I able to do this?” But my work as a couturier is all about images. And in fashion, you are always acting. I was fascinated by movies from age 12. But I love all kinds of movies: I am in love with Children of Paradise. I discovered Truffaut when I was young, then Godard. I love the Italian movies of the ’70s — Passolini and his descriptions of sexuality — you can see some of that in my clothes. Sodom. This is all part of my education. I love diverse films — Fassbender; but I also love the first Star Wars. One of my favorite films of all time is The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

THR: Well — that is diverse.

Gaultier:  I also love Ken Russell’s films — particularly The Devils and Women in Love, they are so complicated and daring. Monty Python films, and then Terry Gilliam’s Brazil and Baron Munchausen — those visuals! Sometimes I have chosen to see films just by their posters. I did that with My Beautiful Launderette, and fell in love with it. Sometimes my choices are not so good! But I think the festival chose me as a judge because I don’t see film like a filmmaker does; I see it through my eyes and my heart more. I’m here to be the public’s eyes. I am very admiring of everyone on the jury this year; Nanni Moretti is an amazing talent. But I am here to defend my point of view — and I definitely have one.

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THR: Beth Ditto was wearing your dress for the opening night gala when she performed, right?

Gaultier: Yes, I made that for her. She has sung and walked in some of my shows; she’s an amazing performer! I have also made clothes for Madonna’s new tour that starts next week in Tel Aviv — but I can’t be there to see her opening night because I will still be here. I was here in Cannes with Madonna when she premiered her film In Bed With Madonna (Truth or Dare in the U.S.). I also came to Cannes when I did costumes for Almodovar and for Peter Greenaway — I have been many times.

THR: What did you see recently this week?

Gaultier: I just saw Rust & Bone — but I can’t tell you what I thought of it. That's against the rules. But you will know on closing night. 

Watch THR's interview with Gaultier above.

Read more from THR's Cannes Daily No. 5 here (PDF).